Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Little Rock Personal Trainer Shares 4 Quck Fit Tips To Keep Your Body Fat-Free For The Holidays!
We all know how busy the holidays can be. However, do not let yourself get caught in the trap of not working out to make more time for holiday errands or events. It is a big mistake to risk losing the lean muscle mass and strength that you have worked so hard to build and maintain. Why you ask? Losses in lean muscle mass will lower your resting metabolic rate, which accounts for the vast majority (about 60-75%) of your total daily calorie burning. This means that everyday you will be burning less and less calories which will put you at a much greater risk of putting on ugly, unwanted body fat during the holidays. Plus, losing strength will mean that the next time you start to work out your performance will be sub par and you’ll get smacked in the face with that ugly word that no one ever wants to encounter when it comes to their training: regression! Furthermore, there are many clever ways to maintain or increase the number of calories you burn per day, both from exercise and from your normal daily activities, to stay fat-free this holiday season. Use the strategies below to maintain and/or increase your current amount of lean muscle mass and maximize your daily calorie burn to best protect yourself against the deadly holiday bloat!
1.) Perform at least one intense strength training session per week
Studies show that only a single strength training workout per week during times when you cannot train as frequently as you normally do is an effective way to maintain your current levels of strength and lean muscle mass. So, to best maintain your strength and lean muscle mass, shoot for at least one good strength training workout per week to stay buff during the holidays and to prevent unwanted regressions in fitness. To best prevent weight gain, aim for three total body strength workouts per week. To maximize fat burning, perform three total body strength workouts per week and also perform three cardio interval workouts per week on non strength-training days.
2.) Hit Your Totals
Your body is a moron. In other words, it cannot differentiate between 100 push-ups performed in a row versus 100 total push-ups performed in a day. When you honestly cannot find a five to 20-minute time slot to complete an effective total body workout, look for hidden chunks of time during the day to get in a certain number of daily repetitions for a certain number of exercises that work your entire body. Got a free moment from now until you need to take the turkey out of the oven? Then, bang out 10 push-ups, 10 rows, and 20 squats. Using this method throughout the day will lead to big numbers by the end of the day that will burn the same amount of calories in addition to creating similar muscle building effects as if you did all of the exercises at once during a single workout.
It is important to note that this “Hit Your Totals” routine is merely a back-up option to the ideal 20-minute interval training workouts which are scientifically proven to burn nine times more fat than ordinary exercise (see my article How to Build 5-Minute Total Body Fat Burning Workouts for the Holidays for more info). Short rest periods between exercises create the optimal hormonal environment for rapid fat loss and lean muscle gain, where as the long rest periods (full recovery) between movements do not. However, it comes down to effective (“Hit Your Totals”) versus optimal (50-10 Total Body Circuit Interval Training Workouts), so be sure to at least be effective this holiday season!
Make sure to pick multi-joint, compound movements that hit as much of your body’s major muscle groups in the shortest amount of time possible (e.g. squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rows, etc.). Use the plan below as guide to build your own “Hit Your Totals” workout. Adjust the repetition ranges accordingly based on your current strength levels. The only thing you need is your body weight and adjustable dumbbells and/or resistance bands. Perform this plan up to three times per week, resting a day between workouts. Make sure to alternate between Plan A and Plan B for more variety. You can either hit your total by doing one exercise first (e.g. perform push-ups rest-pausing as needed until you get 100 total), or by simply employ circuit style training (e.g. 20 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 rows, repeat 10x throughout the day to hit your totals).
The Hit Your Total Workout For The Holidays
Body weight Squats or Hip Extensions: 100-200 total
Push-ups: 50-100 total
DB/Band Rows: 50-100 total
Body weight Lunges or Single-Leg Hip Extensions: 50-100/total per leg
Off Chair/Couch Dips: 50-100 total
DB/Band Curls: 50-100 total (feel free to swap pull-ups or pull-downs here if you have access to the equipment)
3.) Rage Against The Machines
Machines have made us an incredibly out of shape and overweight society. This holiday season make it a point to not use them! Now I don’t mean to say that you cannot drive to the mall during the holidays. However, when you get to the mall, try to park further away so you can do more walking to get inside. Avoid using elevators and escalators and opt for the stairs; all those steps truly do add up. Instead of having your naughty kids carry the bags, burn more calories by carrying the bags yourself (sorry, that was the former naughty kid in me raging, ha ha). Stay on your feet as much as possible and resist the temptation to let a robot or machine do the work for you.
4.) Engage in more outdoor holiday activities
I have been in some pretty incredible backyard football games in my day. Though I was always having a blast, I was never aware of how exhausting a good touch football game can truly be until I came indoors afterwards. No matter what the temperature was outside, my clothes were soaked with sweat! Talk about an awesome way to burn calories without even thinking about it! Get outdoors this holidays season and throw around the pigskin. It's great family fun, and once again, all these calories here and there truly do add up and could make a difference between you fitting in your pants or ripping your pants by the time the clock strikes midnight this New Year!